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Adara’s 4 Pillars to Ethical Data


Kamala Vadlamudi
Product Manager


Introduction (What it is and Why it’s Important)

Ethical Data is the apex of data regulation objectives. Data ethics encompasses the moral and legal obligations of gathering, protecting, and using personally identifiable information. 

Data ethics are of the utmost concern to analysts, data scientists, and information technology professionals. Marketers are laser-focused on the issue because they know it is increasingly important to consumers who are worried about protecting their privacy. Moreover, there are legal considerations emerging with GDPR and CCPA. To navigate this complex landscape, practitioners must be well-versed in the basic principles of data ethics.

Recognizing the importance of treating data responsibly, coupled with the need to manage data from multiple sources, Adara has placed data ethics management at the center of its Data Rights Management (DRM). This platform includes the tracking of the ownership, origins, custody, context, and transformations across the delivery of data for its entire life in the Adara ecosystem. In addition, Adara developed the Privacy SDK (software development kit), a piece of code added to a website to capture data which allows for the collection and handling of de-identified data as a standard practice.


Adara Pillars of Data Ethics (How it Works)

Adara applies the data management process to explain the four pillars in sequence.

  1. Collection

Many companies fail in their data management strategies because they assume ethical data principles can be added on later. Adara starts the data management process with responsible data collection using the Adara Privacy SDK. Out in the industry, companies that rely on consumer data are scrambling to retrofit their data collection methods to comply with the new higher standards. These efforts to bolt on new collection tools are proving to be expensive and slow. As a testament to Adara’s commitment to ethical data collection, they have made the code available as open source.

  1. Handling

Ethical data handling demands accountability and transparency throughout the entire lifecycle to eliminate questionable treatments. 

Adara provides a standard workflow for data handling using Adara’s ID services and privacy token. To ensure data privacy only de-identified data is used to handle enriching and linking processes. Adara uses a tokenization process to de-identify or anonymize the data.

  1. Application

Ethical data application requires clarity on the boundaries within which specific data can be moved, processed, or applied. Adara’s mission is to improve marketing performance by making interactions more relevant to the consumer, therefore our focus is on segmenting, targeting, and measuring. Adara’s Data Rights Management ensures that data movement only takes place in support of this goal. 

These principles give data partners complete ownership and control over their data.  Data owners can configure rules regarding each data element. Data managers decide which elements should be restricted for each use case; only Adara provides this level of control. The process of defining allowable use at a fine-grain level enables data owners to provide data retention and termination policies. For the entire life of the data set collected by Adara, data owners can rest assured that their data is safe and they have full control over how it is used.

  1. Auditing

Experts consider data audits to be one of the most powerful ethics practices, yet they are the most underutilized. Data audits prove the collection, handling and application of data have been conducted in accordance with the highest standards for ethical treatment. One indication of the importance of this last step is the emergence of a new role called a Data Ethicist who is charged with overseeing compliance with the principles of ethical data management.

Adara provides a transparent auditing process for data owners and consumers via Adara’s ethical AI and data policy review process using DRM. It’s a straightforward process because each element of data Adara collects is associated with a data policy and Adara’s proprietary AI applies these policies. All data policies are versioned and their history is preserved. This enables an easy and transparent auditing process for data ethics, compliance, and legal teams for any organization.

Summary (Why it Matters)

Never has data management had as many eyes on it as it does today. From governments to the public there is a growing concern and desire for accountability in data collection and its use. The recent data sharing scandals (e.g. Facebook) have highlighted the critical importance of applying high moral standards to the use of consumer data. This is why it is vital that companies adopt tighter principles that go beyond the basic data flow that serve you not just for today but for the future we are clearly headed towards. 

You can also read our eBook on DRM to Learn More

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